I am writing this on board of this plane that will bring me on a business trip to USA – a country where it parts a huge influences my childhood (transformers, sesame street, M.A.S.K), my growing up years (superheros comic, Mcdonald) and my adulthood (NBA, Hollywood, Apple, Facebook).
This is also the first time that I have taken a 23-hours sector flights with a stopover in Frankfurt enroute. My previous longest ever flight was to Hokkaido , a direct 11 hours flight from Singapore. In fact, I was a bit nervous and jittery before the flight as I was not in the best condition in the days leading to the flight. That nervousness was partly offset by the fact that I was travelling in with my colleagues and in business class.
So yes, first time across the Atlantic Ocean in a business class flight – not a bad deal at all you might be thinking. Did I mention that I will be spending less than 48 hrs in New York before leaving for London? – Another 7 hours flights in cattle-class to London where I will be spending another 48 hrs before flying on to Amsterdam? Did I also mention my typical day will starts around 7.30am and ends after dinner? I think I can throw any idea of sightseeing away. Sigh.
So someone asked me about my specific itinerary – I told him honestly I don’t know – I just read up on my next day itinerary and take it one day at a time. It is too daunting to be planning/ thinking too far ahead.
So like what Alica Key sang, New York, a country where dreams are made of…
The Girl went off to a school study trip a couple of weeks back and I was a temporary single parent for a week. And what a one week it was.
Here three things I learnt through this one week of being a temporary single parent:
It takes a village to raise a child
I truly don’t know how single parents without support does it. I am forever grateful to Elliott’s doting set of grandparents for ever so willing to volunteer to help take care of him. Case in example, one of the day I have a massive headache at work and I don’t think I am in good condition to take care of Elliott – I needed to rest and sleep it out. The doting grandparents volunteered to take care of him at their place for the night so that I can have a good night rest. Although I suspect the grandparents secretly wanted him to stay overnight with them, it is still very kind of them – as I later found out Elliott had a bad cough that night and poor Ah ma spent the night awake caring for him.
Lesson learnt – It is easy to call them friends and families in times of celebration but it is in times of need, the real families will show up.
Personal/work sacrifice has to be made but don’t kill yourself
I have to send Elliott to his playgroup every morning after 8am and then battle with the peak hour traffic to drive home to park the car. Then take Moon on her routine morning walk and then take public transport to work. By the time I arrived at work, it is already close to 10am (I usually starts work at around 8.30am). Of course, I also have to leave on the dot at night so that I can rush home to pick up the car and go over to my parent’s place for dinner and bring Elliott home. Oh did I mentioned Moon needed to go her evening walk?
Lesson learnt – I am not a superman – It is almost impossible to take care of a two years old and a dog without killing myself. I should have insisted for help on taking care of Moon so that I have time to breath. Also grateful and appreciative that The Girl is very hands-on with Elliott – without her around is really difficult to get anything done really.
My child brings me tremendous joy and satisfaction
Having gone through the challenges on the above two points , I do enjoy spending that one on one time with Elliott. The joy when he figured out a puzzle; or when he snuggled to rest his head on my shoulder when sleeping, the curiosity when he saw a bug on the ground in the park – they just made all the tiredness go away.
Lesson learnt – No lesson learnt here. I am grateful for this little human being that came into our lives and made it so much more complicated – But I will not change it for anything in the world.